News media code review will be easy again on Facebook

Australia’s media trading code is being reviewed after its first year of operation, but the federal government has signaled it will not force any company that has not adhered to the code’s requirements to do so.

When a platform is “designated,” it means the government can enforce an agreement between that platform and a news publisher through an arbitrator.

A number of media organizations have been able to benefit from the code and have signed agreements with Facebook and Google. But Facebook has snubbed both SBS and The Conversation when seeking deals.

After the government sought to pass the code in 2021, Facebook went nuclear and simply banned publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content.

In order to roll back the social network, the government was forced to introduce the following amendments:

a decision to designate a platform under the Code should take into account whether a digital platform has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry by entering into commercial agreements with media companies d information;

a digital platform would be notified of the government’s intention to designate prior to any final decision – noting that a final decision on whether or not to designate a digital platform would be taken no earlier than one month from the date of notification;

{loadpopsition sam08}non-differentiation provisions would not be triggered because trade agreements result in different compensation amounts or business results under normal business practices; and

final offer arbitration would be a last resort when commercial agreements could not be reached by requiring mediation, in good faith, to take place before arbitration for no more than two months.

the review started last month; since there’s an election coming up, the new treasurer, whether Josh Frydenberg or someone else, will have to look at the finished product in September and decide if there’s a need to bring any other changes.


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